AS YOU WAIT FOR THE VET­ERI­NAR­IAN

EQUUS - - Eq Hands On -

• Leave any em­bed­ded ob­jects in place. Your vet­eri­nar­ian will re­move the pen­e­trat­ing ob­ject to de­ter­mine how deep the wound is as well as what struc­tures might have been af­fected. Es­pe­cially in the case of the hoof, an x-ray with the ob­ject in place may be needed to de­ter­mine the tract and ex­tent of the in­jury.

• Save the ob­ject, if it is not still em­bed­ded. The width and depth of the ob­ject, as well as how dirty or rusty it is, can pro­vide clues to the in­jury. But it’s even more im­por­tant to de­ter­mine whether the ob­ject ap­pears to be whole or whether bro­ken bits may re­main in­side the wound.

• Keep the horse quiet and calm. Avoid un­nec­es­sary move­ment that may ex­ac­er­bate the wound or drive the ob­ject deeper. If a nail or other pen­e­trat­ing ob­ject is still lodged in the un­der­side of the hoof, do your best to hold the foot up un­til the vet­eri­nar­ian ar­rives. If you can’t keep the hoof el­e­vated that long, get a helper to bring sev­eral small blocks of wood. With a care­ful wrap job, you can tape the blocks in place in a way that al­lows the horse to put the foot down with­out driv­ing the ob­ject in deeper; of course you’ll need to su­per­vise the horse wear­ing such a wrap un­til the vet­eri­nar­ian ar­rives.

• Rinse the area, gently, with clean wa­ter or iso­tonic saline so­lu­tion, and ap­ply a top­i­cal an­ti­sep­tic. Use only a wa­ter-based prod­uct at this stage so your vet­eri­nar­ian can re­move it eas­ily, if nec­es­sary. If the hair is long, you may try clip­ping the area around the wound, if the horse will al­low it.

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